Random House, Mar 2001, 23.95, 196 pp.
Poetry Professor Davis Banks' philosophy of life is simple especially when one feels his four plus decades on this planet has amounted to less than zero accomplishments. Why tell a boring truth when an exciting lie is available. Thus, Davis, who is one notch below the food chain on the academic ladder, lives life through his fabrications.
Davis has left Des Moines to attend his mother's funeral in Tennessee. However, Davis is shocked as he begins to learn more about the boring woman, who raised him, especially when he finds her cache of condoms and cigarettes. When Davis finds a corpse at the site of his father's grave, he joins forces with local police officer Ann Davis seeking a killer.
Known for his poetry, Neal Bowers provides an interesting tale of disaffected middle age. However, the story line fails to decide whether it wants to be a who-done-it or a character study, leaving readers befuddled, as the subplots never merge together. Though Davis is not a likable character, the audience will feel for his troubles with severe diabetes, his disillusionment, especially with himself, and his awe when he sees the contents of his mother's purse. Mr. Bowers needs to watch the sugar count in his next novel as he over sweetens LOOSE ENDS with too much saccharine.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner